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badgerfamily
17-01-2011, 14:40
Hi All,

We are setting off from our house sit in France to tour Italy and would love any sites or preferably wild camping spots which are good for stopping at. We want to start at the top and go right to the tip of the in the south.

Has anyone done it and is there anything to look out for in Italy? Any must see sights?

Thanks in advance.

Nathan

grath
17-01-2011, 14:56
Done it with a truck. down to the bottom and crossing to Messina in Sicily. Spent the night under Mount Etna (Volcano).
Been to Italy about a couple dozen times!
Some big hills after Rome.
Can't advise on wilding but take care and don't stay in a M Way services particularly around the large towns such as Solerno, Napioli & Rome.
We may just (outside chance) be going down there ourselves to Greece, not decided yet! and if we do I intend overnighting in small villages.
All, I can say is that in my opinion the whole country is Mafia run and the economy is based on back handers.
But also, some very nice people!
One tip, if you go to the ferry for Sicily, don't assume that the guys directing the traffic maybe wearing T shirts and baseball hats with the ferry company name's, at the ferry port and maybe offering their advice are official. The ones that I encountered were not!
Snippet, I stayed in a truck park down in the south and it was guarded by a couple of blokes carrying Sub Machine Guns. This gives you an idea of what security is like! and the seriousness!

activecampers
17-01-2011, 15:43
Look at our blog site - Preparation (http://www.doyourdream.co.uk/trip-reviews-and-details/trip-03-italy-switzerland/preparation/) - for details of our 6-7 week tour of Italy. Mainly aires/wild camping. We also logged GPS points of our finds (also on our site) - as of course is a huge GPS database covering Italy.

So maybe browse our blog and copy bits you like into your itinnary!

Quick ones - Camping Falimingo just in Rome - Camping Cheque bargain site - superb place to stay. Treviso just ourside Vennice is nice (free) and quick train into Vennice.

Apart from that - enjoy your trip!

Fleming
17-01-2011, 15:56
A list of spots in Italy is to be found at: Le aree di sosta camper, i camper service e i punti sosta per i turisti pleinair? Su Camperonline.it! (http://www.camperonline.it/area_di_sosta_cerca.asp?Nazione=Italia)
But.... it is in italian :confused:

John H
17-01-2011, 16:38
I think Grath's advice may be a little negative. In my experience, Italy is a great country to wild in (which is just as well because their campsites are expensive). Also, the south of the country - and especially Sicily - are wonderful to wild in (we spent two months on Sicily over Christmas a few years back - including wilding half way up Mount Etna and in Corleone, which is supposed to be the Mafia headquarters of the island but where everybody is incredibly friendly).

As for must-see sights, it depends on your interests but I would include Florence, Pisa, Rome, Pompeii and the whole of Sicily. Happy travels.

grath
17-01-2011, 17:13
Hi John.
Those were my experiences over a 7 year period and not hearsay!
Yes it is a nice country and some very nice people but there is a lot that goes on behind the scene.
I would not let it put me off going there but I would always be on my guard as I do know a lot more than I have posted. We were delivering on a regular basis to a company that had over 500 vehicles registered in Sicily (say no more) and they were very nice to us and looked after us, but:confused:
Maybe my experiences have been different to yours as I have been in the Industrial areas which obviously are not as nice, but I have seen some nice areas as well.:cool:
What I can't understand though, nothing to do with M/H's is that package holidays and hotels in Sicily are very expensive, yet t it is so poor?
I love those round white roofed houses down in Puglia (the heel)

John H
17-01-2011, 17:45
Hi John.
Yes it is a nice country and some very nice people but there is a lot that goes on behind the scene.

What I can't understand though, nothing to do with M/H's is that package holidays and hotels in Sicily are very expensive, yet t it is so poor?


Surely you could say the same about any country - there is a lot going on that the tourist doesn't see. For example, I wouldn't like to live in Syria but it is a great and safe place to be a tourist. As for Italy being so poor - it isn't. It used to be in our youth but it is today by some economic measures a more prosperous country than the UK. When I was a student it was a bargain basement country but no more. For a start, I bet 80% of the base vehicles for the motorhomes represented on this site are manufactured in Italy (certainly most Fiat and Peugeot vans will be).

grath
17-01-2011, 17:50
As for Italy being so poor - it isn't. It used to be in our youth but it is today by some economic measures a more prosperous country than the UK. For a start, I bet 80% of the base vehicles for the motorhomes represented on this site are manufactured in Italy (certainly most Fiat and Peugeot vans will be).

The prosperity of the country is not even, the same as here
The north where the vehicles are made is so different from the south and Sicily and the West is different from the east;)

grath
17-01-2011, 17:58
example
I have loaded in the Como area nice location, and finished loading after a 15 hour day at about midnight.
The Manager of the loading company asked me where I was going to park for the night.
I said just down the road at the nearest service area.
He told me that it was very dangerous and I should not even consider it, but I was out of driving hours so what do you do?
I have had so many similar experiences and some would really make you cringe:( I have even had Italians tell me that they would not go south of Rome, maybe we were prime targets with the goods we carried?
Basically, I trust my own judgement, I get a feel and I do what I think feels right.
I just warned the first poster to be careful, that is all

John H
17-01-2011, 18:12
The prosperity of the country is not even, the same as here
The north where the vehicles are made is so different from the south and Sicily and the West is different from the east;)

It is indeed - but your experience in this country will tell you that the cost of food, accommodation and fuel, for example, is in many cases more expensive in the poorer fringe areas than it is in the prosperous areas. Italy is no longer a cheap destination - wherever you go within the country.

John H
17-01-2011, 18:16
example
I have loaded in the Como area nice location, and finished loading after a 15 hour day at about midnight.
The Manager of the loading company asked me where I was going to park for the night.
I said just down the road at the nearest service area.
He told me that it was very dangerous and I should not even consider it, but I was out of driving hours so what do you do?
I have had so many similar experiences and some would really make you cringe:( I have even had Italians tell me that they would not go south of Rome, maybe we were prime targets with the goods we carried?
Basically, I trust my own judgement, I get a feel and I do what I think feels right.
I just warned the first poster to be careful, that is all

I can't argue with advice to be careful but advice not to go south of Rome makes me just as annoyed as advice not to go south of the Pyrenees (which I have seen on this site before now). Anywhere can be dangerous and anywhere can be safe depending on your attitude - and there is no reason to think that south of Rome is any more dangerous than north of Edinburgh!

grath
17-01-2011, 18:29
I can't argue with advice to be careful but advice not to go south of Rome makes me just as annoyed as advice not to go south of the Pyrenees (which I have seen on this site before now). Anywhere can be dangerous and anywhere can be safe depending on your attitude - and there is no reason to think that south of Rome is any more dangerous than north of Edinburgh!

John, it was not my advice not to go south of Rome but an Italians and I disregarded it myself.
Regarding south of the Pyrenees, never heard that before, they obviously don't know what they are missing:D
Like I said in my first reply, just be careful, be on your guard and all should be well, but don't go in with rose coloured specs trusting everybody

John H
17-01-2011, 18:31
John, it was not my advice not to go south of Rome but an Italians and I disregarded it myself.
Regarding south of the Pyrenees, never heard that before, they obviously don't know what they are missing:D
Like I said in my first reply, just be careful, be on your guard and all should be well, but don't go in with rose coloured specs trusting everybody

I can certainly agree with that!

grath
18-01-2011, 07:36
Maybe my perspective is a little different from the average motorhomer as most of my earlier experiences were gained while I was driving trucks to mainland Europe.
Most of my journeys were to Spain, obviously transiting France, however I did also go many times to Italy and Portugal and a few times to other countries.
What I did find was that the crime was more organized in Italy and much more blatant. Nothing much went on without the greasing of palms even to the extent that some port authorities were turning a blind eye to rouge traffic marshals giving the impression that they were official by guiding your vehicle into parking lanes, asking for your paper work documents, escorting you to the terminal to book onto the ferry and than demanding an extra payment!
Trucks that ventured to Italy usually needed on the insistence of the insurance companies extra security equipment and higher insurance excess and premiums, obviously it was considered a much higher risk than places such as Spain, Portugal & France!
I was told (now this part is hear-say) that after the custom borders came down the robberies from trucks decreased as less people knew what goods were on which trucks. Italian shoes would be split up and all left shoes on one truck and right on a different truck! If you needed an operators licence palms again had to be greased prior to the official application!
It is just that the crime was so much more organized than some other countries such as Spain. I know in Spain we had the Rag h**ds, breaking into trucks and the Kids demanding 100/200 pesetas to guard you parked truck while you went for an evening meal. What they were really saying was Mister, give us some dosh not to break into your truck!
Having said all of this I have met some really nice people in all of the countries that I have mantioned and I have had some very nice experiences, one of the best was in Italy. I went into a little tratoria, not knowing that a private party was going on and I wanted a meal. The Lady of the house told me I could not as meals had finished,,,, therefore I resigned myself to just having a couple of drinks. The Man of the house asked why I was not eating and he insisted that I eat with him at his private table and afterwards he even telephoned his mate just so that we could interoperate the conversation and talk more. What a nice guy he was and I will never forget that experience.
I know things have probably moved on and some of the other new Euro zone countries probably now have even more organized crime, and Italy has advanced and got more prosperous, although I expect that the south is still poor as not as much industry and agriculture based.
But that was part of my experiences gained over a 12 year period working with and coming into contact with ordinary working people not related to the tourist industry and not based on a couple of weeks away or in a M/H looking through rose tinted specs!
My experiences just make me a little more aware of other possibilities, but would not stop me going anywhere.
As I said earlier, I might even be going through Italy myself to Greece and I would not want my post to put anybody off going, just make them aware that each country is a little different to the next and certainly different to here in the UK which also has it's problems.
Have a great holiday Guys wherever you are and be safe:cool:

grath
18-01-2011, 07:54
Having said all of the above, my truck has been broken into twice in Spain and both times in Nules, Casteleon twice in France at Trelliers the service area between Rennes & Nantes. The law of average would dictate more probability for this to happen to me in these countries.
I also know areas in Spain (Valencia/ Alicante) where I would not stop, where I also read that folks on here have parked and had enjoyed without problem. Maybe too much local knowledge is a handicap:D

John H
18-01-2011, 08:09
Having said all of the above, my truck has been broken into twice in Spain and both times in Nules, Casteleon twice in France at Trelliers the service area between Rennes & Nantes. The law of average would dictate more probability for this to happen to me in these countries.
I also know areas in Spain (Valencia/ Alicante) where I would not stop, where I also read that folks on here have parked and had enjoyed without problem. Maybe too much local knowledge is a handicap:D

Well, I think you've really cheered people up with all that, Grath. What on earth was the street value of what you were carrying????

grath
18-01-2011, 16:03
What on earth was the street value of what you were carrying????

John,, it varied quite a bit! Sometimes very valuable stuff and highly desirable and other times maybe worth more but not really desirable to Joe Public. Other times not worth much at all:(
Just the luck of the draw:D

badgerfamily
20-01-2011, 13:06
Appreciate the feedback gents, wasn't wanting to start any debate's but nothing like a bit of healthy banter. We will be careful as we are a young family hence the initial post really.

Having lived in Manchester for 7 years I am aware of no go areas myself you get them everywhere which is why local knowledge or experience is key. Thanks again.

kell
06-03-2011, 20:01
The great difference when travelling in a motorhome, as opposed to driving a truck for work, is that you are able to be more selective as to where and when you decide to park up for the night.

Back to the old faithful advice, If it doesn't feel right, then don't stop there.

I've had the same trouble as Grath had having no choice of where to park up and once had to overnight on the motorway service area just out of Napoli. To my mind one of the worse places you would want to stay if you want to avoid being robbed.

However, I've never been robbed on mainland Europe. In many years of trucking and a few of motorhoming I've only thieving I was on the wrong end of was in Birmingham!


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